Help for an obese friend


Ok, I have this friend who is above 70, weighs 330 pounds, and just lost 10 pounds on this “potato diet”. It’s nuts, but he is desperate to lose weight.

I have tried to talk to him about it, but he talked to his doc who said to go ahead with the potato diet. Go figure.

Now, this person is smart, but not versed in biology or any science pertaining to this, so I don’t want to scare him with overly technical articles. But I also don’t want to insult his intelligence.

I need a relatively short article, from a good, reputable source, describing the why and how of low carb and Keto. This will go against a life time of closely held beliefs, so it has to be convincing.

This may be his last chance, and he is eager to lose, so the time is right…

(Edith) #2

This article has links to a ton of research papers supporting low carb and keto.

And maybe just send him to the Diet Doctor website in general? There is so much information there.


I think he will dig for himself once there, but he needs an intro that makes him more curious… The article looks good, and it’s in a good place to dig.

I’ll still wait a bit and look at more suggestions, figuring out the best way to appeal to him personally. This will have to work, he is so debilitated now that he can’t do anything for himself pretty much. He has an aide coming to the house. Time is running out for him and I am very worried.

(Peter - Don't Fear the Fat ) #4

Blimey. It’s sounds completely mad to me…. Though I have been wrong before.
But I think if you eat potato for every meal you’d soon fall over and stop eating.
That’s a sure fire way to lose weight.


It’s mad. The only thing I could convince him to add is cottage cheese, and he only takes a few spoonfuls for protein, won’t do anything else. He wants this to work so bad… He watched a ton of youtube clips on this diet…


Are the a veggie or vegan? Typically, the potato diet is what they do instead of PSMF’s. Problem is it does seem to work, at least short term, which may reinforce it, but I’m sure soon enough the thought of eating another potato will make them sick, that’s when you strike!


Not entirely vegetarian, no. Not a big meat eater, either. I am actually not sure what he eats to get that fat, his meals are a lot of cottage cheese, clamato, small portions of meat and a lot of veggies. He must be a secret eater… some people only wolf things down in private and don’t tell.

The only thing he was willing to add to his potatoes is cottage cheese. He seems to be sticking to the potatoes. Apparently, they have to be cold before eating (can be re-heated) to convert the starch into resistant starch. I did watch some of those clips, I was curious.

(KM) #8

It goes around in a big sticky circle, doesn’t it. I believe the thinking may go something like this: I ate pretty much what the scientists (or the marketing execs) said I should eat all these years and look where it got me. So obviously weight gain isn’t science, it’s some kind of magic. So who knows, maybe only eating potatoes is the secret magic that will work.

Disturbingly, it sounds like your friend’s doctor swallowed the same blue pill.

More or less anyone who goes on a diet will lose some weight initially, especially if the magic food is a single item and not an industrial concoction designed to be hyper palatable. It doesn’t matter if it’s potatoes or celery or grapefruit or bacon. Even just keeping a food diary usually results in weight loss - when you think that much about what you’re eating, you eat less.

The hard part is not changing the food from potatoes to keto friendly food, it’s changing the behavior from seeking magic to seeking science. Which is also a conundrum: how do you create a big sexy non-scientific soundbite, in order to encourage comparatively long, complex scientific thinking.

Do you know if there’s a way to come in from the side? That is, to target something other than the obesity? For example, if he’s diabetic, he probably knows sugar isn’t good for him. If he learns that potatoes are basically sugar in a different package, maybe he’ll see that the potato diet is a bad idea at least for him personally, and be more open to a different idea?

(KM) #9

I’m fascinated with the whole concept of resistant starch created with chilling or freezing. It’s apparently the “secret” behind a lot of otherwise carby foods that are claimed to be magically low carb. Since I don’t test my blood glucose I have no way of verifying if it actually works. Anyone??? We just had another discussion here of total v. net carbs, and I’m wondering if resistant starch falls into that category of things that affect some people more than others.


I can try to ask him about his health specifics. I don’t know if he will answer properly. He is apparently a secret eater, so, he hides things, from himself as well as others. Admitting to his actual weight appears to be a huge step, and recognizing the jeopardy he is in enough to try to do SOMETHING is too. Baby steps I guess. Maybe that’s why his doc lets him do potatoes - it’s at last a start to being honest with himself?

Why does psychology have to be so complicated? (Tears hair out)


I recall some science about that being posted here years ago, but I may be wrong. It maintained that feeding resistant starch to your biome, such as potato flour, was a good thing.

(KM) #12

Not all obese people are closet eaters, though. Once someone has that deranged metabolism, and metabolic slowdown, they may go on being obese or even gaining weight even though they’re not eating a crazy number of calories. Of course it’s also possible he’s consuming his weight in Snickers bars every year, but he’s not necessarily hiding binge eating.

I had my own internal struggle with food psychology during extended family gathering over the holiday. The usual people with health problems that I believe are caused or greatly exacerbated by diet being resentful because I’m 1. not fat, 2. not sick, and 3. not willing to eat garbage/carbage in order to validate their belief that diet has nothing to do with it. Yes, I’m a bougie bitch because I don’t want any Cinnabon, sorry. :roll_eyes: I can’t imagine actually hoping to educate anyone about keto, because they really don’t want to even consider making changes.

(Peter - Don't Fear the Fat ) #13

I think even the psychologists admit they are shooting in the dark.
I have wondered if my crazy psychology got me into this Keto life!
One thing I do know, is all the recognised keto beliefs and techniques I’ve been urged to follow, have worked!
‘Do A, B, C and D and E will happen’. This is not magic, it’s science and it works.

(KM) #14

Oh, one other thing. I looked up potatoes and they have about 113 calories per cup. So it makes sense that he lost some weight, carbs or no carbs, magic resistant starch or not, because even eating a gallon container of pure potato would only be 1800 calories or so, assuming there wasn’t anything on them but salt. Ergh.

(KM) #15

Not sure if you were addressing me, but I’m saying the exact opposite of what I think you’re interpreting. Keto is science, it’s the fad diets that are “magic”.

(Peter - Don't Fear the Fat ) #16

no you’ve got me wrong. we’re in total agreement. All good :grin: I did appreciate where you were coming from.

(Bob M) #17

Was just going to post this:

Over 100 pounds by eating low carb. And it’s being reported! Maybe your friend would be more convinced by an actual person’s example. Diet Doctor has a bunch of those too.

You can get better insulin response eating potatoes, as a very low fat diet. The problem is that no one can eat that diet for very long.

(Peter - Don't Fear the Fat ) #18

I don’t get it. A potato has about 28g of carbs and surely an insulin response. Wouldn’t fatty meat with little insulin be preferable?
I might be preaching to the converted :innocent: :innocent: :joy:


Yes but it’s way easier to overeat using fatty meat.
If it’s just about eating little enough calories (the key for fat-loss for many of us), potatoes - and tons of other things, surely for many of us any items would do if the duration isn’t 1-2 days - are “good” as normal people rarely eat a ton of anything… And it just gets worse/better as time passes (I go with worse. starvation isn’t nice).
It’s not healthy for longer time (but I googled and it’s like fat fast and other things so it’s for a few days… well one can’t slim down in a few days…) and surely most of us would do some enjoyable keto instead but eating little, that is a normal result with it…

It’s amazing how insane diets people come up with… But whatever floats their boat. I don’t see the point in losing 1-2 pounds and not caring about a healthy diet but that’s one reason I never could take such things seriously (and no way I could, would or want to restrict myself).


It’s real, but I think people overplay that hand a lot. Back when I always tested my sugar I tried that with a couple different things to see if it made a difference, and it seemed to. Real pasta vs cold pasta in a pasta salad, potatoes vs cold ones in potato salad etc.

Resistant starch is good for the gut, but I still think it’s given too much credit otherwise.